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Li, R., G. Munoz, J. Liu, S. Sauve, S. Ghoshal, and J. Liu.
Journal of Hazardous Materials 362:140-147(2019)

The environmental behaviors of PFASs in engineered biopile treatment facilities were investigated by monitoring PFASs derived from aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) under three nutrient conditions. The influence of nutrient levels on degradation kinetics and efficiency was found to vary between the hydrocarbons and PFASs and among individual PFASs. A high number of compounds, including zwitterionic polyfluoroalkyl betaines aged in the field for two years, were biotransformed continuously in lab reactors, demonstrating their slow kinetics and environmental persistence. The low yield to perfluoroalkyl carboxylates suggests that processes such as the formation of bound residues or irreversible sorption might play a major role in reducing detectable levels of zwitterionic PFASs. The high persistence of betaines was further confirmed by the behaviors of a freshly spiked sulfonamide betaine. The study demonstrated complex chemical dynamics in AFFF-impacted soils and the challenges for predicting PFAS fate in soil biopiling facilities.

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